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Horse stable to be constructed on Beauchamp Road property

NANCY POWELL ¦ Staff Writer

(Nov. 9, 2012) Building a horse stable on private property for personal use turned out to be more complicated than expected for a Beauchamp Road family.

Blair Snyder wanted to build a barn on his 42 acres of property near Ocean Pines to use as a horse stable because his daughter likes riding horses.

“It’s a barn for the Snyders and their horses,” attorney Mark Cropper told the Worcester County Planning Commission on behalf of the family during the Nov. 1 meeting. “It’s not intended as a commercial structure.”

The “best of intentions” turned out to have the “worst of consequences,” Cropper said.

Because the barn is for private and recreational use, the Planning Commission granted a waiver to the requirement that it must have an automatic irrigation system.

The project was considered commercial, Cropper said, because the owner was honest and said a friend might want to board a horse there.

“And now, because it could be commercial, it just snowballed unnecessarily,” Cropper said.

Cropper had already handled the case when it went before the Board of Zoning Appeals, which granted a special exception for the stable to be built in a residential zone. Before that, the Worcester County Commissioners had voted last April to approve a bill that would enable the Board of Zoning Appeals to consider requests for horse stables in a residential district.

The bill permitted stables for three or more animals as a special exception on at least 10 acres. There must be at least one acre of lot area for each animal stabled and the stables must be located at least 200 feet from any public road right-of-way. The 10-acre minimum lot requirement is not eligible for appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.

During that meeting of the Worcester County Commissioners, Snyder said he would like to have 24 horses because it “would help defray the cost of what we like to do.” He also said the horse stables would be a benefit to the community.

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